Extracurricular activities can be a great way to enhance your college applications. By participating in activities outside of the classroom, you can demonstrate to admissions officers that you are well-rounded and have a passion for something beyond academics.

Here are some extracurricular activity examples:

  • joining a club

  • volunteering in the community

  • playing a sport

  • taking part in a school organization

Teenage girl wearing hair in a top knot stares at camera and thinking about extracurricular activity examples.

Anvi has a high grade point average and has her mind set on a top university.

She knows that extracurricular activities are important when completing college applications and she wants to ensure that she stands out when she applies in three years.

Anvi has a few questions she needs answered before she narrows her focus to specific extracurricular activities.

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  • How many extracurricular activities do I need?

  • What type of extracurricular activities are available?

  • Which extracurricular activities do colleges prefer?

Quality Over Quantity

Anvi is correct that colleges want to see students participate in extracurricular activities, but colleges prefer quality over quantity.

Flaticon Icon It's best for Anvi to focus on 2 or 3 activities she's passionate about versus filling her college application with several activities she has little interest in or time for.

Anvi should participate in activities that:

  • allow her to showcase her higher skill or ability level

  • develop important life and career skills

  • show passion or excitement


Anvi works part time at her uncle’s restaurant and plays the piano. True/False: Participating in one other school sponsored activity would be enough for her college application.

So Many Options

At her uncle's restaurant, Anvi learns that having a part-time job shows responsibility, an interest in building career skills, encourages teamwork, and builds a solid work ethic.

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Anvi searches for more activities to try. She discovers that her school offers a wide range of activities such as:

  • sports

  • band/chorus

  • debate team

  • student government

  • drama club

  • academic clubs

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Anvi researches community opportunities and finds several great options.

Volunteer Options 🐱

  • soup kitchens

  • animal shelters

  • political groups

  • public library

  • environmental nonprofits

Hobbies and Activities 🥋

  • martial arts

  • dance

  • graphic design

  • coding

  • photography

Animated red male figure with multiple arms does pottery, cooking, reading, and painting all at once.

Extracurricular Activity Examples, That Colleges Prefer

Anvi decides to meet with her school counselor to determine what extracurricular activities are best for getting accepted into her top college choices.

Flaticon Icon Anvi is surprised to learn that extracurricular activities help tell colleges a bit about herself and how she spends her time outside of theclassroom.

Anvi’s school counselor also shares that colleges want to see her succeed at something at a higher level and show commitment to an activity.

Woman wearing orange headphones looks up smiles and shakes her head while holding a trophy and confetti falls on her.


Anvi reflects on her interests and current hobbies. She loves taking pictures when her family travels during holiday breaks and making scrapbooks.

She also knows that she doesn't enjoy being in the spotlight or exercising outside.

Picture of vintage camera on gray background with blurred black and white photos laying in front of the camera. Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash


Which school sponsored extracurricular activity should Anvi consider based on her interests and background?

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